American politicians want you to think that the threat of China spying on you through TikTok is a serious danger, but at the same time they are trying to renew their FISA powers so that our own government can spy on YOU. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So American politicians want you to think that the threat of China spying on you through TikTok is a serious danger. But at the same time, they’re trying to renew their FISA powers so that our own government can spy on you more easily. Talk about this story. You have followed this from the very beginning. I’m gonna hush. You do this story. I tell you what, this is amazing to me.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is absolutely one of the biggest cases of hypocrisy we’ve ever seen. Obviously, you know, following 9/11, we had the sweeping changes to our FISA law here in the United States to where our intelligence agencies can go and do this bulk gathering, phone calls, text messages, emails, you know, computer data without a warrant.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: And it’s, it expires every couple years. Congress has to renew it and each time it comes up for renewal, you hear the same arguments from the civil liberties groups, a couple of certain senators, Ron Wyden is one of them who say, listen, you’re using this to spy on Americans. You can make all the arguments you want that, oh, but we caught, you know, three terrorists in the last five years using this. You’re gathering up data of millions of Americans. This is the same thing Snowden told us about. This is a bad program and you’re spying on us.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I mean, we, this has been around. Here’s the bad news. They don’t care. The American public doesn’t care if they’re spied on anymore. I don’t know. It’s like a cultural change that took place, you know, in this country. Assange, they think Assange is some kind of awful guy because he discloses the amount of spying that the US government’s doing. Snowden, they, oh, he, send him to Russia. Who the hell cares? He was disclosing the amount of spying that goes on. But if what people don’t get is all the numbers show, I mean, across the board, the American public has so, been so desensitized to this, they don’t care if they’re spied on. I mean, that’s a simple, that’s the simple truth.

Farron Cousins: Well, right. And the telecom companies of course, push this big time. They send their lobbyists to DC to start taking everybody out to fancy dinners and golf resorts because they want this to still happen. Because they get huge money from the federal government to turn over this data, again, no warrants. You don’t have to go to a judge. Here’s your data. Give me all this money.

Mike Papantonio: It’s worse, it’s worse than FISA. The other day I was working on, I was working on lead to Crossroads, Clapton’s Crossroads, I’m just sitting in there playing. I use the, you know, I’ve got, I guess I had my phone there. Maybe I got the computer turned on and I’m working on Crossroads. Well, okay, I close everything up, set my guitar down, turn on Pandora. You know, the first song that comes up? Crossroads. Now tell me there’s not something, I mean, is that, what are the chances of that kind of coincidence? And so it’s not just FISA. It’s we’re being spied on in every kind of way and we don’t care anymore. Maybe you care. I do care. But most people don’t care.

Farron Cousins: Right. And we’ve sat here, we’ve done stories, you know, recently about your Roomba, your vacuum that is now owned by Amazon, by the way. It’s sending the data about what’s in your home.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Back to these massive corporations who of course can then turn it over to the federal government without a warrant. Thanks to FISA. It’s all connected and people don’t understand that.

Mike Papantonio: Some people are so comfortable that they have, what is Amazon, what’s that thing?

Farron Cousins: Alexa.

Mike Papantonio: Alexa. Okay. Alexa runs everything about their house. It turns on their lights, it turns on the television. It’s all over their house. And they’re getting the same kind of thing I just described about, that happened to me. But I just, it’s so amazing to me that people really don’t seem to care anymore.

Farron Cousins: No, they, they don’t. And it’s all that post 9/11 mentality, I’ve gotta be safe and I guess I can give up all my civil liberties to do that.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.